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When Do Employees Accept E-Learning?

(Alexandria, Va.) May 23, 2001 – A new study by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and The MASIE Center revealed three critical success factors in determining whether an employee will or will not accept and participate in a work-related e-learning course. These include:
  • Internal Marketing – Employees respond better to e-learning when it is promoted well in advance, and they feel prepared.
  • Support – Employees value and respond to e-learning when they feel they have the necessary technical, subject matter, and managerial support.
  • Incentives – Employees respond to e-learning when they can clearly see the value of what they will learn.

Mark Van Buren, Director of Research for ASTD, noted, "There is clear evidence that the context and manner in which e-learning is offered affects the employees’ receptivity, regardless of the type of e-learning or the course design."

Elliott Masie, President of The MASIE Center, and co-producer of the study adds, "While we know that it takes brochures, catalogs, and telephone calls to ‘fill’ many classroom offerings, there is a dysfunctional tendency to under invest in the marketing of online learning modules."

"The Learning Technology Acceptance Study: If We Build It, Will They Come?" also revealed that 38 percent of employees polled from seven Fortune 500 companies said they preferred e-learning to classroom training. But most indicated they were satisfied with their e-learning experiences, learned what they needed faster than through classroom training, and were willing to take additional e-learning courses in the future.

Another phase of the study looked at how 16 companies (15 of which are among Fortune 500) attract learners to mandatory and voluntary e-learning courses. This portion of the study revealed that learners are drawn to courses that blend e-learning with other forms of instruction and courses where they can learn away from their busy desks.

The companies tracked learners’ acceptance of Internet-, intranet- and CD-ROM-based e-learning as part of 29 carefully selected courses, aimed at audiences of 71 to six thousand employees. A majority of the learners were sales or business professionals, and the e-learning content they received varied from product information to IT-related training to professional skills content.

To order a copy of the full report (available starting on June 11), call the ASTD Customer Care Center at 703.683.8100. Use product code #190104 when ordering. The cost is $89.95/$109.95 (ASTD members/non-members).

About ASTD

ASTD is the world's leading association of workplace learning and performance professionals, forming a world-class community of practice. ASTD's 70,000 members come from more than 100 countries and 15,000 organizations ¾ multinational corporations, medium-sized and small businesses, government, academia, consulting firms, and product and service suppliers.

Started in 1944 as the American Society of Training Directors, ASTD is now a global force, widening the industry's focus to connect learning and performance to measurable results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues.


About The MASIE Center

The MASIE Center is an international thinktank located in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Center is dedicated to exploring the intersection of learning and technology and was formed to provide a clear-thinking leadership hub for the next generation of learning and technology solutions.